The Top 5 Best Premium WordPress Theme Providers

The Top 5 Best Premium WordPress Theme Providers

So, that bland, white and black, functionless free theme just ain’t cuttin’ it anymore, eh?  Or maybe you’re just getting started and want to really make a big splash on your website.

Either way, premium themes offer greater functionality, better looks, and generally stronger support than most freebies out there.  Below, I’ve listed five of the best and most-widely used premium WP theme providers out there today.

I’ve personally used themes from all five of these companies, and recommend them all.  You should know — these are my affiliate links, and I make a commission if you purchase a theme or package from them.  But I’d be recommending them even if I made nothing from it.

1. Elegant Themes

Honestly, these guys are my favorite.  I use them for most of my sites and am consistently impressed how great they look.  In fact, this site is made using an Elegant Themes theme.  (You should try to figure out which one!)

They have some fantastic shortcode options where you can drop in graphical sliders, testimonial boxes, ad blocks, quotes, price comparisons, and more with just a few characters and customizations.

All of that said, ET themes tend to need a little finessing after installation.  These themes tend to be built for flashiness, with less focus on utility.  The header area is usually larger than most people would prefer, and I cut it down by about 100 pixels before doing anything.

Click here to visit Elegant Themes

2. WooThemes

One of the most respected companies in the business.  They’ve been around a long time and are known for themes that look good and perform well.  I know million-dollar marketers who use these themes for their sites.  My friend Kate Buck, Jr’s Let’s Get Social course on how to become a social media expert, as well as Stu McLaren’s Wishlist Insider (the learning site for membership plugin Wishlist Member) are run on themes from WooThemes.

Click here to visit WooThemes

3. ThemeForest

Part of the Envato Network, these guys are really cool.  These are themes that are produced, sold, and supported by other members of ThemeForest.  There are some terrific niche themes in here — I found some a couple weeks ago for cooking and recipe sites that looked fantastic.  While you’re there, check out the other Envato Marketplaces for royalty-free stock photography, audio clips, graphics, animations, and more.

Click here to visit ThemeForest

4. Thesis

This particular theme is produced by DIYThemes, and is known for its speed, precision, and exacting standards in design and W3/browser compatibility.  It’s a little more complicated to use, but not by much.  It gives you a ton of flexibility when it comes to customizing your site, but the learning curve is a little bigger.

Click here to visit Thesis/DIYThemes

5. RocketTheme

This company has been around for awhile too, and they produce themes for other platforms like Joomla, Drupal, Magento, etc.  The themes are focused on fantastic design, although they’ve recently implemented their “Gantry Network,” a similar structure to the Thesis theme.  Both use what’s called a “parent theme,” and then you implement “child themes” in order to customize the look and functionality of a site.  Again — a bit more complicated, but you get more options on how you want it to look and work.

Click here to visit RocketTheme

What’s great about WordPress, or really similar content management platform, is that you can buy a theme, install it, and if you don’t like it, you can then switch to something else with minimal repercussions.  And with the release of WordPress 3.4, you can now customize and preview what your site will look like before you actually make the switch public.  So, check out one of these top 5 best premium WordPress theme providers, and don’t be afraid to try a few of them on for the best fit.

Should I Use Other People’s Content on My Site?

Should I Use Other People’s Content on My Site?

It’s a tricky situation.

You have a new website that you don’t want to look deserted, but you also don’t have time to write 50 articles and shoot 25 videos before you go live.

Sure there are resources out there where you can go and grab existing articles, blog posts, videos, and more, and just as easily stick them on your site to populate it and move on.

But should you?

There are different levels of “borrowing,” and corresponding implications of each.  Let’s look at three of them, and why you should or shouldn’t engage in them.

1. Plagiarism/Stealing Content

Okay, NO.  Flat out wrong, bad, smack-your-hand-with-a-ruler don’t do this.  If people find that you (or your VA/outsourcers) are using other people’s content without permission, it’s basically like stealing anyone else’s songs, manuscripts, or other intellectual property.

Not only is it illegal and the owner can threaten you with legal action, but it’s just bad manners and bad karma, whether you believe in it or not.  Plus, Google will find out through their spiders, and flag you for Duplicate Content.  More on that in a minute.

So in case your mom never told you otherwise, stealing is wrong.  You’re grounded; go to your room.

2. Using PLR or Ezine Article Content

So, here’s where we hit a gray area.  First, let’s look at what these two things are.”PLR” means “Private Label Rights.”  Essentially, this is content that is produced by someone who intends on distributing it (paid or free) for anyone to use.  There are sites and businesses out there that sell or give away gobs of PLR content, and that’s their entire business model.  You can get virtually anything through PLR these days — articles, blog posts, e-books, video courses…even entire websites.

Now, EZine Articles (www.ezinearticles.com) is one of dozens of free article sites where authors from around the web put their articles for use by anyone in their blogs or newsletters, and exchange, that author receives not only notoriety, but credit (and SEO juice) back to their site.

Seems like a great way to get content, right?  It gets sticky, however, when you just take the content from PLR or article directories like Ezine and just plop it on your site.

Why?  Remember “Duplicate Content” from above?  It’s basically when Google automatically detects that the article on your site is almost (or completely) like the article on another site.  When that happens, it lowers your score in its index, which lowers your rankings in its search engine.  Lower rankings = less traffic = sad faced you.   : (

3. Happy Medium: Rewrite Content Using an Outsourcer

Completely fresh and original content will ALWAYS be your best bet.  But let’s face it – you probably don’t have time to research and author dozens of articles from scratch.So, one way around this is to use PLR or Ezine content, and rewrite it so it’s a new article.  Even better, add a couple bits of new info so that it IS fresh content.

QUICK TIP: Hire a virtual assistant or outsourced writer to do it for you.  You can give them a topic, set guidelines, and set them loose.  This is a GREAT way to leverage time and talent in order to get the results you want.  I’ve had a lot of good luck finding quality contractors at oDesk (that’s my affiliate link, by the way), among the several other top outsourcing and VA sites out there.

Getting a site off the ground with quality content doesn’t have to be a monster project.  Take a few steps to find what’s out there and improve upon it, and you’ll be well on your way.